FCC’s Tom Wheeler Hounded By Wireless Health Activists All Day During Visit to SF Bay Area Thursday
Media may use photos with attribution to StopSmartMeters.Org
SAN FRANCISCO- Tom Wheeler, chair of the Federal Communications Commission, and former head of the industry Wireless Association for 12 years, got an earful from protesters on Thursday during his visit to the Bay Area. Organized by Stop Smart Meters! and the California Brain Tumor Association, protesters gathered and expressed their anger at the industry/ government collusion that is failing to warn people about- or even acknowledge- the hazards of wireless technology.
From the morning as he arrived in Mountain View to the end of the Oakland event that evening, Wheeler was peppered with questions and dealt with disruptions about how he buried the science showing health harm.
As Wheeler stepped out of his limo in Mountain View, he was confronted about wireless health harm and the ill-advised plan to place wireless in all classrooms in the US- a plan called “ConnectEd” spearheaded by Obama. A teacher from the LA Unified School District who has witnessed firsthand the effects of wireless on schoolchildren repeatedly pressed Wheeler on the point that wireless radiation is already causing harm to our kids- and that wired computers (not a Class 2B carcinogen) can adequately prepare children for a future working with technology.
Wheeler had uttered no more than a sentence at the Commonwealth Club event before Stop Smart Meters! Director Josh Hart stood up and said in a loud voice, “Hey Tom, how many people have to die of brain tumors before the Federal Government will warn people of the hazards? How many young women have to get breast cancer from keeping their phones in their bras before warning labels are introduced? How many must be made electro-hyper-sensitive from a ‘smart’ grid that is harming our communities? Are we just collateral damage in the industry quest for profits? Are you happy with your purchase of the Chairmanship for $1 million from Obama?” Hart was quickly led out of the room.
That wasn’t the only disruption. Four others interrupted Wheeler’s speech, demanding answers about why Federal regulations on RF guidelines fail to protect the public from harm. Ellie Marks ‘thanked’ Wheeler for her husband’s brain tumor. Kevin Mottus from Los Angeles accused Wheeler and the industry he represents of “carrying out a quiet holocaust.” One by one, the protesters were led out of the room. But the message was clear- California is growing more aware of the dark side of wireless and we’re not going to tolerate it quietly.
After leaving Mountain View, activists drove to San Francisco’s Market St. Verizon store and placed (relatively mild) warning labels on all the wireless devices:
WARNING: This device emits microwave radiation that the World Health Organization states may cause cancer. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable.
In 2011, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance requiring similar warnings be placed at the point of sale, but the wireless industry sued, claiming they have a “first amendment right” to not disclose health hazards to consumers. Activists carried out their 1st amendment right to warn people of the dangers. Many discussions were had with customers, an announcement was made out loud in the store, and the safety labelers refused to leave when asked to do so. The action carried on for about 20 minutes, as staff went around and quietly removed the stickers from the phones as activists replaced them. No police were involved and the activists left the store without incident.
At the evening event, Voices for Internet Freedom, Wheeler was greeted by death standing solemnly at the entrance. At one point, he wandered the wrong way after being followed and questioned by an activist, and found himself surrounded by protesters shouting, “Wheeler buried the truth now we bury the dead.” He quickly scurried away, knowing that the truth was out there. He looked like a frightened animal and you could see the pain in his eyes. It can’t be easy to sacrifice people’s lives for profit.
A coffin was brought to the scene and ‘dead birds’ were scattered around the coffin to represent the insidious impact of wireless radiation on nature and wildlife.
Activists were more restrained inside the evening event, given that it was sponsored by grassroots community organizations. SSM! Director Josh Hart was given 90 seconds to speak and said that “it is important to listen to the truth particularly when it is inconvenient or uncomfortable. The truth is that wireless is hurting us, and as with most toxins, the ones who are marginalized and poor bear the worst impacts.”
Stop Smart Meters! thanks everyone who worked so hard to make these protests happen, and encourages those in other parts of the country to also give Wheeler a similar “warm” welcome when he comes to visit you.
Video of this day of action will be forthcoming.
Joshua Hart MSc
Director, Stop Smart Meters!